In 2018 a conference was held at the Catstrand in New Galloway drawing together a wide range of expert speakers to consider the historic use of Gaelic locally, when was it spoken, where did it last longest, and what we know the people that spoke it?
The conference was completely sold-out and really progressed what is known about the Gaelic of Galloway, allowing the region to be properly considered part of the former Gàidhealtachd which once stretched from Cork to Caithness. A book inspired by that event has been published, making the content of the conference available to all.
The compilation and publication of the book has been driven by local man and enthusiast on the topic, Michael Ansell along with co-editors Ronnie Black and the late Ted Cowan.
Seeing the project come to fruition, Michael said:
“It’s great to see this book come out at last: a tangible legacy of a fantastic conference and great speakers. Ted Cowan was often spitting feathers as the editing and publishing process dragged on but I’m sure he would have been delighted with the end result. As a result of this book what we know about the thousand year-long Gaelic heritage of Galloway has been significantly increased and the book will hopefully act as a platform for further studies in future.”
The book is priced at £19.99 +P&P and is published by John Dewar Publishers, Kinross. It can be ordered from https://www.johndewarpublishers.com/galloway-the-lost-province-ofgaelic-scotland/ or https://www.gaelicbooks.org/explore-the-shop/non-
fiction/academic/galloway-the-lost-province-of-gaelic-scotland, from a variety of local stockists or directly from Michael on email@example.com.
Publication of the book was supported by a grant through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme. McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team Leader, added:
“Organising the conference itself was no mean feat and it included a quite intimidatingly impressive selection of speakers. To follow it up with this book is a massive achievement and will hopefully ensure that the work done at the time to better understand Gaelic in Galloway is secured for future generations.”
The Galloway Glens Scheme seeks to ‘connect people to their heritage’ while boosting the local economy and supporting sustainable communities. It is an initiative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team, primarily funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by a whole range of partners including Drax, the owners of the Galloway Hydro Scheme, and the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.